Mar 16, 2012

Diagrammer: The Diagram Store

Diagrammer is an online store where you can buy diagrams for your next presentation. It is the istockphoto and fotolia of diagrams. You go to fotolia to buy photos, you can visit diagrammer to buy diagrams. To me this comes as a bit of a surprise. This is something innovative. But will people actually pay for diagrams?

What kind of diagrams are we talking here?
While browsing diagrammer I realised it is like MS Powerpoint's SmartArt. SmartArt is a collection of ready made diagrams. Diagrams in which you can insert your own text. While there are only 100 odd types of SmartArts, diagrammer has more than 4000 diagrams.

There are essentially five types of diagrams in diagrammer; Flow, Join, Network, Segment and Stack. These are supposed to denote five different types of relationships.

Within each of these categories there are sub-categories. For example, under Flow you have Linear, Loop, Merge/Divide and Parallel. If you want to show five ideas merging you can choose one of the various diagrams under merge.

The diagrams are both 2D and 3D type. All diagrams are editable. You can change its colour and move it around. The diagram is like any other shape in PowerPoint. You can resize and edit it. Each diagram only costs $0.99.

SmartArt versus Diagrammer
I was curious to check out how good these diagrams are. So I compared similar diagrams from these two resources.

The images are good in both but Diagrammer images are slightly more polished. However there is one drawback with diagrammer. All the diagrammer images have blue colour as their theme. If you want the diagram in any other colour, you will have to manually change it. SmartArt in MS PowerPoint 2010 allows instant colour choices (under SmartArt styles tab on the top). Hence changing colour schemes is faster in SmartArt than in Diagrammer. This manual change will consume time for complex diagrams. 

How will you search for the right diagram?
Well these is no search box on the site. You need to know what diagram will suit you and find it out from the five main categories. The search will be fast only when you know what you are looking for. If you aren't sure which diagram will suit you, you probably don't clearly know what you are presenting.

Some samples
Here are a few sample diagrams I downloaded. Take a look. While most diagrams are ok ok, some are really new and different.

Do you really need diagrammer?
If you are an advanced user of PowerPoint, you can always create diagrams yourself. However, most of these diagrams are complex and it will not be easy to create on your own (unless you have the time and skill). Should you then go ahead and buy diagrams online?

The question you actually need to ask yourself is: Do you use such diagrams in your presentation? If yes, how often? and how are you managing these diagrams today?

Check this store out and see whether you like it. Browse through the diagrams and use what suits your need. Don't buy what's there in SmartArt (remember, SmartArt is free!).

Final point: Do not use any diagram to jazz up your presentation. If diagrams help you communicate your point better, use them. Use them in place of long list of bullet points. But don't use them to make the slides look pretty. It will not help.

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